IT Brief New Zealand - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
How to accelerate modernisation using a slow start
Fri, 11th Nov 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Technology modernisation is no longer a nice-to-have – instead, it’s a must for the vast majority of businesses. Recent research highlights that companies who invest in robust digitisation journeys positively transform both their business models and technology infrastructure. These forward-thinking companies are found to grow five times faster than those that don’t. 

Infosys research suggests that enhancing revenue, developing and providing better customer experiences and enabling resilience are important drivers when organisations choose to modernise their technology landscapes. Our estimate is that only 10% to 30% of the legacy technology will be left in the next five years. 

While organisations are trying to stay ahead of the modernisation curve, some cite the following factors as barriers to modernisation: 

  1. a dependence on legacy applications for business-critical systems 
  2. a workforce that is resistant to change 
  3. a lack of talent to perform tasks including migrating core applications to cloud with minimal disruption

Beyond addressing the above challenges, organisations should also consider bringing in modernisation experts to help implement agile processes. An incremental modernisation approach by workload is more effective. This crucial phased approach reduces the risk and garners support of stakeholders along the journey. 
Key ingredients for successful modernisation programs include: 

  1. Effective change management
  2. Transforming culture 
  3. Starting small 
  4. Upskilling 

A great example of successfully transforming culture is Spark NZ. Spark was one of the first companies in the world to move completely to “Agile.” Implementing agile work practices company-wide meant moving forty percent of Spark’s employees into cross-functional “tribes”. These tribes were made up of people from different departments including IT, networks, products, marketing, and digital. Spark’s agile transformation has since reached all parts of the organisation. To support this agile journey Spark modernized their ERP and CRM systems.

Modernisation, when paired with effective change management enables the capabilities to continually improve customer experience and speed to market. The modern IT systems empowers teams with real-time analytics and brings direct ownership and accountability at a team level.  This in turn increases employee satisfaction and engagement. 

A well planned and executed modernisation program begins with small steps. Each step removes operational friction within the organisation, resulting in a faster functional rhythm. A multidisciplinary team brings end-to-end capability rather than the traditional serial process that revolves around different narrow centres of expertise. 

If your business invests in training programs such as DevOps, AWS/Azure/Google Cloud or microservices training, then it’s also important to deliver these in bite-sized chunks. This segmented upskilling leads to exponential business benefits over time. Those looking to develop or enhance in-demand skills such as database design and application programming interfaces (APIs) can also benefit from such programs.

Looking to further understand the benefits of a staggered approach to modernisation? Consider the example of a retailer that’s looking to successfully transition to the cloud.

They can start with a simple point-of-sales lift-and-shift to cloud infrastructure. After this, the retailer can then focus on applications and transforming business processes through automation.

For anyone looking to modernise, consider starting small with low impact processes and focus on removing layers in your organisation. This considered approach will result in a faster operational cadence as the modernisation journey picks up momentum and receives wholehearted buy-in from relevant stakeholders.